Indian Delegation Likely to Visit Tehran for Talks over Oil Payment
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An Indian delegation comprised of energy, finance and foreign affairs officials are likely to make a visit to Iran in order to discuss methods of payments for crude imports from the Islamic Republic, according to an Indian website.
A team of India officials, representing the country’s finance ministry, ministry of external affairs, petroleum ministry and Reserve Bank of India (RBI), is likely to head to Iran in the near future to canvass the possible options for paying Tehran for the oil purchases, the Hindu reported on Wednesday.
The anticipated visit seems to be in reaction to Tehran’s decision not to accept India’s rupee payment for its oil purchases beyond the previously agreed 45 percent.
New Delhi had earlier urged Tehran to accept 100 percent of its Iranian oil purchases in Indian rupees. Sources said payments in rupee helped India to save on the foreign exchange outflow. Oil imports have been a major factor contributing to a record current account deficit (CAD).
But the new Iranian administration has decided not to approve of rupee payment beyond 45 per cent margin for purchase of crude oil.
According to the Indian website, Iran is now seeking payments in ruble, yen or yuan instead of repee.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has reportedly informed the Indian government that Iran would not accept full rupee payment for crude oil imports and India would have to explore paying the rest of the amount in euro.
India had been paying Iran through the Ankara-based Halkbank in euro for 55 per cent of its oil imports from Iran. The rest was paid in rupee to the accounts of the National Iranian Oil Company in UCO Bank. However, payments in euro ceased on February 6 this year.